Partnering with members of the Ffoton photographic network in Wales, students in the School of Journalism, Media and Culture have been reviving the long-form photo essay to explore and document social issues in the Cardiff Capital Region.
The Social Documentary project's three principal objectives were:
- to explore and document under-reported social issues in the city region through the collaborative partnership of journalism students and photographers in the community
- to revive the photo essay as a form and build on Wales' historic contribution to social documentary photography
- to promote collaborative inter-disciplinary peer learning between university students and members of communities within the region.
The project grew out of insights from an earlier Pilot Engagement Project, Aberfan: remembering, forgetting and moving on. During 2017 it ran alongside the School’s other community initiatives: the Centre for Community Journalism – one of the University’s key engagement projects; and the Sir Tom Hopkinson Centre for Media History, which brings together scholars and research students with journalists, photojournalists, documentary-makers, archivists, media activists and practitioners to focus on the evolution of the media within broader processes of societal change.
Students and Ffoton photographers created four photo essays, each focusing on stories emerging from one of four Pilot Engagement Projects, excerpts from which are shown below.
A School of Pharmacy-led project to link the Glamorgan Federation of Women's Institutes with local schools as together they develop more bee-friendly habitats.
A series of workshops for Ely residents, led by the School of History, Archaeology and Religion, to explore our ancient and modern relationship with crafts.
Part of ongoing work by the University's Community Gateway initiative to support local independent businesses in Cardiff's Grangetown.
The University's Creative Economy team worked to support members of co-working hubs to network and develop a shared voice.